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Indian mathematics emerged in the Indian subcontinent [1] from BC [2] until the end of the 18th century. The decimal number system in use today [3] was first recorded in Indian mathematics. Ancient and medieval Indian mathematical works, all composed in Sanskrit , usually consisted of a section of sutras in which a set of rules or problems were stated with great economy in verse in order to aid memorization by a student. This was followed by a second section consisting of a prose commentary sometimes multiple commentaries by different scholars that explained the problem in more detail and provided justification for the solution.

Mathematicians seek and use patterns [8] [9] to formulate new conjectures ; they resolve the truth or falsity of such by mathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, mathematical reasoning can be used to provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic , mathematics developed from counting , calculation , measurement , and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects.

Practical mathematics has been a human activity from as far back as written records exist. The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry.

Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics , most notably in Euclid 's Elements. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the Renaissance , when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.

Mathematics is essential in many fields, including natural science , engineering , medicine , finance , and the social sciences.

Applied mathematics has led to entirely new mathematical disciplines, such as statistics and game theory. Mathematicians engage in pure mathematics mathematics for its own sake without having any application in mind, but practical applications for what began as pure mathematics are often discovered later. The history of mathematics can be seen as an ever-increasing series of abstractions. The first abstraction, which is shared by many animals, [14] was probably that of numbers: the realization that a collection of two apples and a collection of two oranges for example have something in common, namely the quantity of their members.

As evidenced by tallies found on bone, in addition to recognizing how to count physical objects, prehistoric peoples may have also recognized how to count abstract quantities, like time—days, seasons, or years.

The Babylonians also possessed a place-value system and used a sexagesimal numeral system [19] which is still in use today for measuring angles and time. Beginning in the 6th century BC with the Pythagoreans , with Greek mathematics the Ancient Greeks began a systematic study of mathematics as a subject in its own right. His book, Elements , is widely considered the most successful and influential textbook of all time.

The Hindu—Arabic numeral system and the rules for the use of its operations, in use throughout the world today, evolved over the course of the first millennium AD in India and were transmitted to the Western world via Islamic mathematics. The most notable achievement of Islamic mathematics was the development of algebra. Other achievements of the Islamic period include advances in spherical trigonometry and the addition of the decimal point to the Arabic numeral system.

During the early modern period , mathematics began to develop at an accelerating pace in Western Europe. The development of calculus by Newton and Leibniz in the 17th century revolutionized mathematics. Mathematics has since been greatly extended, and there has been a fruitful interaction between mathematics and science, to the benefit of both. Mathematical discoveries continue to be made today. According to Mikhail B. The overwhelming majority of works in this ocean contain new mathematical theorems and their proofs.

The word for "mathematics" came to have the narrower and more technical meaning "mathematical study" even in Classical times. In Latin, and in English until around , the term mathematics more commonly meant " astrology " or sometimes " astronomy " rather than "mathematics"; the meaning gradually changed to its present one from about to This has resulted in several mistranslations.

For example, Saint Augustine 's warning that Christians should beware of mathematici , meaning astrologers, is sometimes mistranslated as a condemnation of mathematicians. It is often shortened to maths or, in North America, math. Mathematics has no generally accepted definition. However, Aristotle also noted a focus on quantity alone may not distinguish mathematics from sciences like physics; in his view, abstraction and studying quantity as a property "separable in thought" from real instances set mathematics apart.

A great many professional mathematicians take no interest in a definition of mathematics, or consider it undefinable. Three leading types of definition of mathematics today are called logicist , intuitionist , and formalist , each reflecting a different philosophical school of thought. An early definition of mathematics in terms of logic was that of Benjamin Peirce : "the science that draws necessary conclusions.

Intuitionist definitions, developing from the philosophy of mathematician L. Brouwer , identify mathematics with certain mental phenomena. An example of an intuitionist definition is "Mathematics is the mental activity which consists in carrying out constructs one after the other. In particular, while other philosophies of mathematics allow objects that can be proved to exist even though they cannot be constructed, intuitionism allows only mathematical objects that one can actually construct.

Intuitionists also reject the law of excluded middle i. Formalist definitions identify mathematics with its symbols and the rules for operating on them.

Haskell Curry defined mathematics simply as "the science of formal systems". In formal systems, the word axiom has a special meaning different from the ordinary meaning of "a self-evident truth", and is used to refer to a combination of tokens that is included in a given formal system without needing to be derived using the rules of the system.

Several authors consider that mathematics is not a science because it does not rely on empirical evidence. Mathematics shares much in common with many fields in the physical sciences, notably the exploration of the logical consequences of assumptions. Intuition and experimentation also play a role in the formulation of conjectures in both mathematics and the other sciences. Experimental mathematics continues to grow in importance within mathematics, and computation and simulation are playing an increasing role in both the sciences and mathematics.

The opinions of mathematicians on this matter are varied. Many mathematicians [57] feel that to call their area a science is to downplay the importance of its aesthetic side, and its history in the traditional seven liberal arts ; others feel that to ignore its connection to the sciences is to turn a blind eye to the fact that the interface between mathematics and its applications in science and engineering has driven much development in mathematics.

In practice, mathematicians are typically grouped with scientists at the gross level but separated at finer levels. This is one of many issues considered in the philosophy of mathematics. Mathematics arises from many different kinds of problems. At first these were found in commerce, land measurement , architecture and later astronomy ; today, all sciences suggest problems studied by mathematicians, and many problems arise within mathematics itself.

For example, the physicist Richard Feynman invented the path integral formulation of quantum mechanics using a combination of mathematical reasoning and physical insight, and today's string theory , a still-developing scientific theory which attempts to unify the four fundamental forces of nature , continues to inspire new mathematics. Some mathematics is relevant only in the area that inspired it, and is applied to solve further problems in that area. But often mathematics inspired by one area proves useful in many areas, and joins the general stock of mathematical concepts.

A distinction is often made between pure mathematics and applied mathematics. However pure mathematics topics often turn out to have applications, e. This remarkable fact, that even the "purest" mathematics often turns out to have practical applications, is what Eugene Wigner has called " the unreasonable effectiveness of mathematics ". For those who are mathematically inclined, there is often a definite aesthetic aspect to much of mathematics.

Many mathematicians talk about the elegance of mathematics, its intrinsic aesthetics and inner beauty. Simplicity and generality are valued. There is beauty in a simple and elegant proof , such as Euclid 's proof that there are infinitely many prime numbers , and in an elegant numerical method that speeds calculation, such as the fast Fourier transform.

Hardy in A Mathematician's Apology expressed the belief that these aesthetic considerations are, in themselves, sufficient to justify the study of pure mathematics. He identified criteria such as significance, unexpectedness, inevitability, and economy as factors that contribute to a mathematical aesthetic.

A theorem expressed as a characterization of the object by these features is the prize. The popularity of recreational mathematics is another sign of the pleasure many find in solving mathematical questions. And at the other social extreme, philosophers continue to find problems in philosophy of mathematics , such as the nature of mathematical proof. Most of the mathematical notation in use today was not invented until the 16th century. Modern notation makes mathematics much easier for the professional, but beginners often find it daunting.

According to Barbara Oakley , this can be attributed to the fact that mathematical ideas are both more abstract and more encrypted than those of natural language. Mathematical language can be difficult to understand for beginners because even common terms, such as or and only , have a more precise meaning than they have in everyday speech, and other terms such as open and field refer to specific mathematical ideas, not covered by their laymen's meanings.

Mathematical language also includes many technical terms such as homeomorphism and integrable that have no meaning outside of mathematics. Additionally, shorthand phrases such as iff for " if and only if " belong to mathematical jargon. There is a reason for special notation and technical vocabulary: mathematics requires more precision than everyday speech.

Mathematicians refer to this precision of language and logic as "rigor". Mathematical proof is fundamentally a matter of rigor. Mathematicians want their theorems to follow from axioms by means of systematic reasoning. This is to avoid mistaken " theorems ", based on fallible intuitions, of which many instances have occurred in the history of the subject.

Misunderstanding the rigor is a cause for some of the common misconceptions of mathematics. Today, mathematicians continue to argue among themselves about computer-assisted proofs. Since large computations are hard to verify, such proofs may be erroneous if the used computer program is erroneous. Axioms in traditional thought were "self-evident truths", but that conception is problematic. Nonetheless mathematics is often imagined to be as far as its formal content nothing but set theory in some axiomatization, in the sense that every mathematical statement or proof could be cast into formulas within set theory.

Mathematics can, broadly speaking, be subdivided into the study of quantity, structure, space, and change i. In addition to these main concerns, there are also subdivisions dedicated to exploring links from the heart of mathematics to other fields: to logic , to set theory foundations , to the empirical mathematics of the various sciences applied mathematics , and more recently to the rigorous study of uncertainty.

While some areas might seem unrelated, the Langlands program has found connections between areas previously thought unconnected, such as Galois groups , Riemann surfaces and number theory.

Discrete mathematics conventionally groups together the fields of mathematics which study mathematical structures that are fundamentally discrete rather than continuous.

In order to clarify the foundations of mathematics , the fields of mathematical logic and set theory were developed. Mathematical logic includes the mathematical study of logic and the applications of formal logic to other areas of mathematics; set theory is the branch of mathematics that studies sets or collections of objects. The phrase "crisis of foundations" describes the search for a rigorous foundation for mathematics that took place from approximately to The crisis of foundations was stimulated by a number of controversies at the time, including the controversy over Cantor's set theory and the Brouwer—Hilbert controversy.

Mathematical logic is concerned with setting mathematics within a rigorous axiomatic framework, and studying the implications of such a framework. Therefore, no formal system is a complete axiomatization of full number theory. Modern logic is divided into recursion theory , model theory , and proof theory , and is closely linked to theoretical computer science , [73] as well as to category theory.

In the context of recursion theory, the impossibility of a full axiomatization of number theory can also be formally demonstrated as a consequence of the MRDP theorem. Theoretical computer science includes computability theory , computational complexity theory , and information theory. Computability theory examines the limitations of various theoretical models of the computer, including the most well-known model—the Turing machine. Complexity theory is the study of tractability by computer; some problems, although theoretically solvable by computer, are so expensive in terms of time or space that solving them is likely to remain practically unfeasible, even with the rapid advancement of computer hardware.

Christian Yates does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment. It should come as no surprise that the first recorded use of the number zero, recently discovered to be made as early as the 3rd or 4th century, happened in India. Mathematics on the Indian subcontinent has a rich history going back over 3, years and thrived for centuries before similar advances were made in Europe, with its influence meanwhile spreading to China and the Middle East. As well as giving us the concept of zero, Indian mathematicians made seminal contributions to the study of trigonometry, algebra, arithmetic and negative numbers among other areas. Perhaps most significantly, the decimal system that we still employ worldwide today was first seen in India.

Despite developing quite independently of Chinese and probably also of Babylonian mathematics , some very advanced mathematical discoveries were made at a very early time in India. Mantras from the early Vedic period before BCE invoke powers of ten from a hundred all the way up to a trillion, and provide evidence of the use of arithmetic operations such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, squares, cubes and roots. A 4th Century CE Sanskrit text reports Buddha enumerating numbers up to 10 53 , as well as describing six more numbering systems over and above these, leading to a number equivalent to 10 Given that there are an estimated 10 80 atoms in the whole universe, this is as close to infinity as any in the ancient world came. It also describes a series of iterations in decreasing size, in order to demonstrate the size of an atom, which comes remarkably close to the actual size of a carbon atom about 70 trillionths of a metre. As early as the 3rd or 2nd Century BCE, Jain mathematicians recognized five different types of infinities: infinite in one direction, in two directions, in area, infinite everywhere and perpetually infinite. Ancient Buddhist literature also demonstrates a prescient awareness of indeterminate and infinite numbers, with numbers deemed to be of three types: countable, uncountable and infinite.

partial fractions while the second surveys the history of some of the contributions of Indian mathematicians to Quantum Statistics. the editors are the last is meant to serve as a simple manual used for quick computations.

Mathematicians seek and use patterns [8] [9] to formulate new conjectures ; they resolve the truth or falsity of such by mathematical proof. When mathematical structures are good models of real phenomena, mathematical reasoning can be used to provide insight or predictions about nature. Through the use of abstraction and logic , mathematics developed from counting , calculation , measurement , and the systematic study of the shapes and motions of physical objects. Practical mathematics has been a human activity from as far back as written records exist. The research required to solve mathematical problems can take years or even centuries of sustained inquiry. Rigorous arguments first appeared in Greek mathematics , most notably in Euclid 's Elements. Mathematics developed at a relatively slow pace until the Renaissance , when mathematical innovations interacting with new scientific discoveries led to a rapid increase in the rate of mathematical discovery that has continued to the present day.

This is a chronological list of some of the most important mathematicians in history and their major achievments, as well as some very early achievements in mathematics for which individual contributions can not be acknowledged. Where the mathematicians have individual pages in this website, these pages are linked; otherwise more information can usually be obtained from the general page relating to the particular period in history, or from the list of sources used. Search for:. Hardy British Progress toward solving Riemann hypothesis proved infinitely many zeroes on the critical line , encouraged new tradition of pure mathematics in Britain, taxicab numbers Pierre Fatou French Pioneer in field of complex analytic dynamics, investigated iterative and recursive processes L. Major Achievements. First notched tally bones.

Indian mathematics , the discipline of mathematics as it developed in the Indian subcontinent. The mathematics of classical Indian civilization is an intriguing blend of the familiar and the strange.

Skip to main content Skip to table of contents. Advertisement Hide. This service is more advanced with JavaScript available. Contributions to the History of Indian Mathematics. Emch R.

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